CAMDEN — The smell of chowder wafted along the Camden Public Landing, Saturday, Aug. 31, fleshing out winning chefs and recipes, though the real winners remain the charitable recipients of an active community group.
The West Bay Rotary may be known for the breakfast meetings upon which the local chapter was founded 33 years ago. However, in recent years, bi-annual chili and chowder challenges have allowed these Rotarians to break from the morning meal, instead enacting their "Service Above Self" over the rims of lunchtime soup ladles.
During the 2019 Windjammer Days, in Camden, seven professional food service entities permitted their chowder creations to be compared and critiqued by paying diners.
Quarry Hill, The Lobster Pound, French & Brawn, and Sea Dog gave this season’s winners a challenge with their recipes.
Third Place winner, Waterfront Restaurant, and Second Place winner, Wave Cafe - Camden Hills Regional High School, managed to hold them off.
Yet, overall, Graffam Bros. Seafood Market, won the favor of local and tourist taste testers with the Market’s designated “competition chowder,” according to West Bay’s public relations representative, Deborah Fink. The Market made extra chowder to sell at their Rockport store as well.
Financial tallies will take a few days as Rotarians accumulate credit card receipts and as they make deductions for the Rotary’s minimal costs, according to Fink.
Money raised at each West Bay fundraiser go into a general fund, and then distributed to charities who’ve applied as recipients. Applications are accepted twice per year. The next deadline is Oct. 1. After that, the money will be distributed.
Annul fundraisers have included the West Bay Charities Christmas Tree sales, Chili and Chowder Challenges at the Toboggan National Championships and Windjammer Days, community auctions, Duck Derbies, E-Waste collection and other community projects.
Reach Sarah Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org